The start of the year 2020 was something we have never imagined. The tentative lockdown administered by the nations due to the COVID-19 has become a more permanent measure. Hence the ongoing pandemic has affected millions of lives, but the global economy is on the verge of a meltdown.
The shutting down of schools and businesses took a toll on the general public. Since kids were always home and outdoor activities coming to a halt meant more frustration among parents. That is when the educational institutes devised a plan of home-based learning, AKA virtual learning. Soon its popularity rose, and parents could finally take relief from continually trying something new to engage their children.
Just like we were having our office schedules and social circle, our kids were going to school and enjoying life with their peers. When all of a sudden, the new normal was introduced, we all had trouble adjusting to it. From offices to teachers, everyone has made a swift transition to their new routine of working from home or creating virtual classrooms.
The transition was necessary to keep ourselves and others safe, but one of the significant aspects of life that were suffering was the future generation and its education. It was a big question for educationists to develop a strategy to carry on the learning off-campus. Thankfully, with the evolution of technology and advanced systems, every nation in the world can adapt to the online learning system.
We all accept that teaching is a noble profession. Many people think of it as doing social work through which they contribute to the betterment of society. A social worker can serve its community in many ways. They can work as family counselors or in community centers to help their people. Many youngsters who are getting an online master of social work degree can also help their community by teaching underprivileged children and kids living in a remote area. The degree equips you with skills that you can impart to youngsters as a competent teacher. Since schools are closed for the term, every school is focusing on teaching virtually. But the tricky part is how to implement the virtual learning system to benefit all the students.
The following ways can make your virtual lessons more effective:
Virtually teaching is the same as teaching in real life. It relies on the communication and relation a student builds with his or her teachers. A teacher cannot impart knowledge without creating a genuine connection. Be it a pre-schooler or a high school kid, they look up to their teacher for everything if they know that they can trust them. Even if you are not teaching in your particular classroom setup, you can still keep the connection alive between your students and parents. Parents are more worried about their kids and hoe they will progress. You might have scheduled the online classes and syllabi, but try to reach out to kids and parents out of schedule. Check on them if they need your help with the kid, as many kids listen to their teacher more than their parents. Let parents know that you are available.
Build A Routine
Our brain works best under pressure or if given a deadline. If you are getting kids to pay attention to their studies, you will need to devise a proper routine. You cannot opt for a study plan at different times of the day. Be clear with your instructions, assignment deadlines, and assessment schedules. A planned study will help the kids to follow the pattern and pay attention to their studies. Let them know your video conferencing plans for different subjects and make sure that your message reaches every student. Be stern with your assessments and link it to your students’ promotion to the next academic year. In short, try every routine possible with consistency to get them to study.
Be Mindful Of Cyber Security & Content Screening
Even with social distancing measures in effect, we can still connect with our friends through social media. As teachers, we are aware of keeping things professionally up to the mark, but for students, the internet is a place of fun and games. It is essential to have some rules and precautions for students while teaching them online. You can plan your activities by coordinating with parents and school management. You can have a meeting with all parents to let them know about the filters that they can apply to their devices and screen the content that their children will see. Use trusted online tools and software that do not endanger your cybersecurity.
Incorporate Simulations In Lessons
Since we are teaching online, we are most likely to guide through presentations or use the digital whiteboard. Incorporating simulations into your lessons can maintain your student’s interest and make your experience appear appealing. Simulations are similar to mini videogames. You can use online videogames such as Kahoot to assess your student’s learning after every lesson. Adapting simulations and learning videogames will lead your students to wait for the next day of your experience. Besides games, you can find low-cost simulations that you can use while creating your lesson tutorials or demonstrating something online.
Make Your Assessments Result-Oriented
Believe it or not, as a parent and even as a teacher, we focus more on grades than on actual learning. It’s a bitter reality that we force our kids or students to compete to stand out so that as a parent, we can be proud, and as a teacher, we get appraisals. In all this chaos, we take learning for granted, and the kid finds shortcuts to success instead of learning. While teaching virtually, let our kids be stress-free and less worried about their grades. Get your teaching and learning practice focus on results. Plan your assessments to gauge the student’s knowledge and not results. Not every student is bright, leading your assessments towards result orientation will give every student an equal opportunity to learn and succeed. Design your assessments in such a way that from a genius to a below-average student can easily attempt. Do not avoid or delay the evaluation, instead make sure that it happens.
Even though we have accepted a new routine during this pandemic phase, we have made swift transitions to new realities. Our younger generation is facing a hard time adjusting to their online learning system. With everything being shifted to the digital realm or over the screens, virtual classrooms have its set of pros and cons. We can only strive to make it successful by creating a connection between parents, teachers, and students. With everyone willing to play their role, the virtual educational system might be useful in challenging times.